MSU Finds Way for Farmers to Participate in Carbon Markets

I’m not a fan of offsets, but this MSU science-based scheme looks like a good idea.\ 

Targeted News Service — EAST LANSING, MI — July 18, 2012 — Researchers at Michigan State University have helped develop a way for farmers to participate in carbon markets and get paid to reduce their use of nitrogen fertilizer, which represents one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural production. The methodology, which was developed for the American Carbon Registry with support from the Electric Power Research Institute, will allow farmers to participate in carbon markets by creating greenhouse gas offsets by reducing the amount of nitrogen used to fertilize crops. These offsets can be sold to other carbon market participants to meet greenhouse gas emission reduction targets or requirements.

“Farmers already manage fertilizer to avoid large nitrogen losses, but they are often reluctant to further reduce fertilizer use because they fear doing so will decrease crop production,” said Phil Robertson, MSU crop and soil scientist and principal investigator for the new methodology. “The MSU-EPRI methodology uses an innovative approach to pay farmers to apply less nitrogen fertilizer, but more precisely so that crop yields aren’t jeopardized.”